Degas: A New Vision

NGV Edgar Degas Rehearsal hall at the Opera rue Le Peletier 1872 In June 2016, an exhibition of one of the world’s most loved artists, Edgar Degas will open to the public at the National Gallery of Victoria. The world-first exhibition, Degas: A New Vision will offer the most significant international survey of Degas’ work in decades.

The National Gallery of Victoria and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will both stage this major retrospective, which has been developed by both institutions in association with Art Exhibitions Australia. Degas: A New Vision will be premiered at NGV International in June 2016 as the next Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, before travelling to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in October 2016.

“Presenting Edgar Degas’ magnificent oeuvre in a fresh and reinvigorated light showcases him as one of the defining artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,” says Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “Considered one of the world’s most celebrated and significant artists, his influence upon modern and contemporary art is undeniable.”

“Degas: A New Vision will provide audiences with a rare experience to truly be immersed in the creativity and originality of his art, giving visitors a deeper and richer understanding of his brilliance.”

Presenting more than 200 works, Degas: A New Vision will showcase the artist’s talent in a new light; not only as a great master of painting, but also as a master of drawing, printmaking, sculpture and photography.

The exhibition will be presented thematically, grouping together the subjects which Degas continually returned to throughout his career, including not only his famous ballet scenes but also arresting portraits, the nude, horse-racing, the social world of Parisian nightlife, and women at work and leisure.

Degas: A New Vision will also explore the great technical, conceptual and expressive freedoms that Degas achieved in his later years, and reveal his experiments with a range of mediums including sculpture and photography. This approach will emphasise Degas’ obsessive and highly creative working methods, and allow visitors to enjoy the development of Degas’ art from its beginnings.

Degas was fascinated by aspects of modern life – voraciously painting Paris’ dance halls and cabarets, cafés, racetracks, opera and ballet stages. He also studied the simple, everyday gestures of working women: milliners, dressmakers, and laundresses. He was drawn to explore movement that was precise and disciplined, such as that of racehorses and ballet dancers, and absorbed a diverse range of influences from Japanese prints to Italian Mannerism.

The National Gallery of Victoria is pleased to be working with a pre-eminent expert on Edgar Degas, Henri Loyrette, former director of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, who is principal curator of the exhibition.

Degas: A New Vision will give Victorians and visitors to our state an unprecedented opportunity to experience the incredible life’s work of an iconic master” says Special Minister of State, The Hon. Gavin Jennings MP. “It is a significant coup for Melbourne to be the first location to present this ground-breaking exhibition and casts the international spotlight firmly on our city and the NGV.”

Degas: A New Vision will be at NGV International from 24 June – 18 September 2016 as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Edgar Degas, Rehearsal hall at the Opera, rue Le Peletier 1872 oil on canvas 32.7 x 46.3 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris Lemoisne 298 (RF 1977) © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

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